Jeff Benca has a passion for paleobotany. A graduate student in the Department of Integrative Biology, Jeff is studying a group of early land plants called lycopods. Using fossil and living representatives, he hopes to understand how they and other plants may have responded to environmental changes in the past. Lycopods are of particular interest because they survived several mass extinctions, a key research focus for Jeff and his advisor, Assistant Professor Cindy Looy.
In this video, Jeff describes his love for these strange and resilient plants. The video was produced by Molly Sharlach, who received her Ph.D. in microbiology from UC Berkeley in 2013, and recently completed a graduate certificate in science communication at UC Santa Cruz.